Macclesfield Express - - WHAT’S ON -

THE Der­byshire land­scape is much in­flu­enced by traces of its in­dus­trial past, par­tic­u­larly by quar­ry­ing and min­ing over many cen­turies.

Dur­ing a re­cent nine-mile walk, 17 East Cheshire Ram­blers saw ev­i­dence of lead min­ing, in the form of rake veins.

Th­ese look like wide ditches, but each records where a vein of lead sev­eral feet or even yards wide was mined.

The rake veins ran across the coun­try­side, of­ten for miles.

Led by Brian Grif­fiths, we set off from Peak For­est vil­lage in poor vis­i­bil­ity due to low mist.

Af­ter a short dis­tance along the road, we turned left and, with El­don Hill to our left, climbed steadily as we crossed Watts Plan­ta­tion – moor­land dot­ted with dis­used mine shafts. Soon it was time for a re­fresh­ment break.

We shel­tered from the strong wind in a grassy hol­low, once the site of a quarry, be­fore con­tin­u­ing north­ward on our as­cent to­wards Mam Nick.

There, af­ter cross­ing the road and turn­ing west, our route took us along the con­tour to Lords Seat, then grad­u­ally down­hill along Rushup Edge.

The re­cent heavy rains had left the stony path more like a stream, so it was as well that we were wear­ing stout boots.

Lunch was en­joyed tak­ing ad­van­tage of an out­crop of rocks by a wall.

By this time, the morn­ing’s win­tery show­ers had given way to cloud with oc­ca­sional sunny spells, though it was still windy.

Our af­ter­noon route turned south­wards and grad­u­ally down­hill through Stony­ford, with oc­ca­sional steeper sec­tions on the de­scent to Rushup Farm.

In wood­land, shortly af­ter pass­ing through Spar­row­pit, we passed a cou­ple of rake veins and learned more about lead min­ing from our walk leader.

Soon we were back at our cars agree­ing it had been a very en­joy­able and in­ter­est­ing walk.

For more de­tails of East Cheshire Ram­blers’ pro­gramme of week­end and mid­week walks, go to ram­blerseastcheshire.

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